Judge denies Hae Min Lee’s brother’s request to postpone Adnan Syed’s hearing for 7 days

The court is hearing about whether Aden Syed, a Baltimore man whose legal saga was the basis for the hit podcast “Serial,” should overturn his 1999 murder sentence while the court attends the proceedings of the victim’s brother. waiting to happen.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Finn is conducting a hearing to determine whether Syed’s conviction for the murder of his former high school girlfriend Hai Min Lee should be overturned and whether he should be released from custody. Prosecutors filed a motion last Wednesday questioning the integrity of Syed’s original trial and the evidence that has left him behind bars over the past 23 years.

In Maryland, victims of crime have the right to be heard in proceedings regarding the accused, and Lee’s brother, Young Lee, represents the family. His attorney, Steve Kelly, said Young Lee did not learn of the hearing until Friday and asked Finn to adjourn the hearing for seven days so that Lee, who lives in California, could appear.

Finn denied that offer, stating that sufficient notice was given to Young Lee and the court was given 30 minutes to allow him to virtually attend and speak before Finn rules on Syed’s crime. Court is expected to resume at around 3:15 pm

41-year-old Syed has always maintained his innocence.

He Min Lee, 18, was strangled to death and buried in a secret grave in Leakin Park. Officials at the time said they suspected Syed, her ex-boyfriend, was fighting with her in a car before hitting her. State doctrine? Woodlawn couldn’t handle it when he broke up with High School’s popular honor student Lee. He was 17 at the time of his arrest and has been behind bars for 23 years.

Syed is currently imprisoned at Patuxent Institution, a state prison in Jessup.

In the state’s motion to overturn his sentence, prosecutors did not write that they believed Syed was innocent, but that they no longer believed in the integrity of his sentence.

“It is in the interest of justice and fairness that these convicts be acquitted and that the defendants, at the very least, face a new trial,” wrote Becky Feldman, head of the state attorney’s office’s sentencing review unit.

In 1999, Syed’s first trial ended in wrongdoing. In 2000, a jury found him guilty of murder. The judge sentenced him to life imprisonment and 30 years in prison at the time of sentencing.

Despite fighting to uphold the sentence in previous years, prosecutors now say Syed may not be Lee’s killer. According to his proposal to vacate his sentence, the state has known of two “alternative suspects” since 1999 who may have murdered Lee.

One of the suspects had threatened her, saying “he would make her disappear. He would kill her,” prosecutors wrote.

The state did not disclose alternate suspects to Syed’s defense before the trial, meaning his lawyers could not use that information to argue his innocence to the jury.

Prosecutors described one of the suspects as a serial rapist, adding that the suspect was convicted of a series of sexual assaults following Syed’s trial. Police found Lee’s car near the residence of one of the suspects, the state action said.

According to prosecutors, Syed was convicted partly because of cellphone location data, which has since been found to be unreliable. He also highlighted the inconsistent statements of his co-defendant, Jay Wilds, who testified against him.

Erica Sutter, Syed’s attorney and director of the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law, said: “Given the surprising lack of credible evidence involving Mr. Syed, with mounting evidence pointing to other suspects, this Unjustified belief cannot stand.” ,

Syed’s conviction became the subject of international intrigue after a podcast “Serial,” released in 2014 that pioneered the true crime genre, raised new questions about Lee’s death. Since then, his legal journey has been the subject of books, other podcasts and television documentaries, which led to new legal filings in his case.

The courts rejected all his appeals, the last time in 2019, when the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.

Things were calm until this spring.

Behind the scenes, Sueter was working with prosecutors in hopes of reducing Syed’s prison term in light of a new state law that enables people convicted of crimes before the age of 18 to seek their approval from the court. be asked to modify the sentence.

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Investigating the case, prosecutors agreed to request new DNA tests for items collected as evidence of Lee’s murder.

The Finn ordered the tests in March, but the results have so far been inconclusive, court documents show. Trials are pending for some items.

Lee’s family maintains their belief that Syed is guilty and struggles with the publicity and support Syed receives.

The family said in a 2016 statement, “It’s hard to see so many parts to defend someone who committed a horrific crime that destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so little.” People are ready to speak for Ha.” Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

“Unlike people who learn about this case on the Internet,” the family said then, “we both sat and watched every day of the trials — so many witnesses, so many evidence.”

The Lee family has not spoken publicly about the matter since.

This story will be updated.

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